Gadgets, Pet Bowls and Vacancies


Before telling you about a couple of vacancies that we are looking to fill, a friend sent me a cutting she took from last Saturday’s FT (yup I do have a posh friend who reads the Financial Times). This was a rarity, as not only does she read this worthy publication but the cutting was sent in a real envelope, with a real stamp on it, and yes it was an actual cutting from the actual newspaper printed on pink paper.

As one who has an almost pathological dread of putting anything in an envelope (a deep and unfathomable side to my character) and then posting it, I was impressed.

In it a fellow called James Max (a journalist and broadcaster, apparently) was slating kitchen gadgets….oh dear.

The FT review of Kitchen Gadgets

His opening paragraph set out his stall pretty clearly when he says “most kitchen gadgets clutter your cupboards, clog your drawers, and are not useful. Essentially buying them is like throwing away money”.

He sums up with “I suspect, many are compensating for poor to average cooking skills or worse laziness”.  

No judgement there then!

At this early stage in the proceedings, I found I’d taken an instant dislike to him, and he’d not yet written 50 words. 

Besides which, I love my (gadgety) Zyliss Easypull Food Processor (RRP £35 on offer at £27) and bless it every time I’m tasked with cutting up onions, because having peeled and chopped them roughly into quarters I hurl them into my Easypull and 2 seconds later they’re mincemeat and I don’t end up crying either.

Very controllable and very little to wash up.

So, whilst he initially comes across as  pretentious* he does go on to redeem himself somewhat, not least because I agree that some kitchen gadgets are of dubious usefulness, which, in his opinion (and mine), the multi-function type are the worst, often being compromised or flawed in some way (I don’t think you’ll find any of these in Art of Living incidentally**). He continues the process of getting in my good books, saying that he’s recently fallen in love with the Magimix Gelato ice cream maker, (which is very good, but I prefer the Cuisinart version, which at the moment is half the price of the Magimix one) and also loves the Magimix 5200XL food processor.

These are both very good recommendations, in my opinion, as both are market leaders, both work superbly and although I don’t think for a family of four say, you need to go to the 5200XL size necessarily (as he suggests), there are two smaller machines, from which to choose, that work just as well (4200XL and 3200XL).

He derides his £3000 built in Gaggenau Coffee machine which apparently you have to pull out ??? to refill the water tank, and get out the kitchen steps to refill the coffee beans (by contrast our Jura Coffee machines are stylish, Swiss, easy to refill  and last years and years…and yes, that was an uncharacteristic sales pitch) and he obviously just loves his Quooker instant boiling water tap.

And having recently been introduced to one, in a couple of friends’ houses (must be rich friends, as, apparently, they are about £1800 a pop) after getting over the hit on your bank account and the fear of getting scalded, they do have a lot of practical uses, you can even make tea with them! Goodbye kettle!

He finishes, and starts to lose me again, by talking about the “showoffability” of well designed gadgets, like the KitchenAid stand mixer and his beloved Magimix Ice Cream Machine.

This leaves me with feelings of ambivalence, is he a pretentious twit, is it self-parody, or is he a lover of good design, I’m unsure.

Where it seems he and I are aligned though, is that I am also a great believer in good design, and in having your beautiful kitchen machines out, not to show off, but so that you use them….

*Sorry Mr Max, We’ve never met, I don’t know you, so my comment is just as judgemental as you(r article)!  

**Remember our guarantee though. If you’ve bought anything from us that disappoints you. Bring it back and we’ll give you a refund.

Air Fryer Liners

Well, I was going to talk about them, only to find that our stocks are rather low and we can’t get any more till early June. So, I’ll leave it till then. We do have limited stock in all three sizes though. They are round, square and rectangular, and are between £3.95 and £6.95.

Le Creuset Pet Bowls

I’m sure that yesterday when these little gems arrived, I thought of something acerbic to say about them, but I can’t for the life of me recall what it was and doubtless would have got me in hot water with their marketing department. But anyway, suffice to say that someone at Le Creuset thought that this was a good idea, and oddly I find myself almost taken in by the idea….

I can’t be serious can I?  

Le Creuset Dog and Cat Bowls? I’m not sure what Coco, our cat, would make of it.

He sees us eating off Le Creuset plates and out of Le Creuset bowls and might be a bit suspicious of us feeding him with his own one.  “What…no… I’m used to nicking stuff off those, this is taking all the fun of it.”  might well be his take on it.

Besides, being a civilised sort, like Macavity, he eats off a plate, not a bowl. So no, it was a close one, but he’ll not be getting one.

However, you might well look at one and find it quite attractive, compelling even. And I for one won’t judge you too harshly, unlike James Max I fear…

It also occurs to me that Dog/Cat bowls often sit ‘in view’ in your house 24/7 unlike our own tableware which is usually hidden in a cupboard.

So if you do (love them), you can take 20% off with this code CATDOG24 if shopping online or tell us who you are if shopping in Cobham or Reigate.

They come in 2 sizes (medium and large) and 5 colours (Volcanic, Flint, Meringue, Cerise and Flint).

Two vacancies


We currently have two vacant positions in the company. One a sales position in the Cobham shop, part time, approximately 3 days a week. You need to love cooking, enjoy getting on with people, and as we are cookware detectives/first responders, more than sales people, not having worked in sales before might well be a benefit!

Ecommerce Marketing/Warehouse Operative

And the other, based at our warehouse in Redhill, where we are looking for someone (probably young, but we are open to persuasion) who loves cooking, has a natural flare for social media, aptitude for most things digital and who is fit enough to help in the warehouse when it’s very busy or during staff holidays.

There are job roles for both these positions on the website HERE  and application forms HERE.

So that’s it for another week, but just before I go, I must mention an interview with Mo Gawdat, former chief business officer at Google X that I listened to on Dairy of a CEO last week, which had some very good stuff in it, but it was 2hrs 50 odd minutes long…bit of an ask.

However, I then listened to Alain de Botton being interviewed by Mr Gawdat and that was fascinating. If you are after something thought provoking about human relationships, then I’d recommend either of these interviews as time well spent.

And whilst talking of laziness (Mr Max), did you know no such state exists?

No, really it doesn’t. But lack of motivation does.

All laziness describes is the irritation one feels for another who isn’t motivated to do something that one feels they should be doing. Laziness is just a pejorative word, a judgment, on another human being who isn’t motivated in the same way that the accuser is.

I hope you have a pleasant and peaceful weekend

Warm regards

Andrew Bluett-Duncan




  • Andrew

    Hello Ami
    Thank you for your comments, both about my emails and the shortcomings of the Le Creuset dog bowl design.
    Honestly I think it’s too late to persuade them of the design flaws.
    We are happy to take them back for a refund however. Sorry this is brief, but I’m answering on my phone. Not ideal!
    Warm regards

  • Ami

    Another great blog. I’m a Le Creuset addict and have just recently got cups, bowls, plates and the spoon rest to join my saucepans, so was delighted to see there are now pet bowls. I ordered two for my Golden Retriever, and whilst I do love them, I think they sadly need some improving. I bought the large ones and still think they need to be deeper. But, what really is annoying is their underneath as they can’t be left to drip dry after washing as water collects in their underneath. I think I’d prefer it just being completely flat. But, they are out, are being used, but I would love Le Creuset to reconsider their design.

    Love the blogs, please keep them coming.


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